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Thread: Haulin Vols Trailer Upgrades

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  1. #1
    Charter Member #9 Haulinvols's Avatar
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    Haulin Vols Trailer Upgrades

    About three weeks ago I got a wild hair to redo my Sunsation's trailer. What started as a quick conversation about doing a repaint and repairing a couple things turned into a full blown all out weekend project. My partner in crime for this project was Jason with Unlimited Trailer Parts. He graciously lent me the use of his shop along with volunteering himself for hard labor. I also enlisted the help of some other great friends, Bob and Dan. We put a lot of hard work, sweat, blood and tears over the last three days and what emerged from the shop was a trailer that is much more fitting of my Sunny.

    The real bonus of this project was finding some things underneath the surface that could have cost me a lot of money down the road. I found that three of my four bunks had quite a bit of rot in them. My back left brake was frozen up and actually came out in pieces when we removed the drum.

    The first step in the project was getting the boat off the trailer for the weekend. Concord Marina in Knoxville hooked me up with a covered slip with shore power as a temporary home for the weekend. After dropping Haulin Vols off, we pulled the trailer over to Jason's shop to start the tear down process.

    We used a fork lift to put the trailer up on stands so we could remove the wheels/tires, Brake actuator, bunks, old carpet steps and just about everything else we could pull off the trailer. Once we had removed all of the parts we started the long process of prepping the trailer for paint while our welder fabbed up the drive guard.

    The drive guard is something I have always wanted on a trailer. It won't stop a semi from taking the back of the boat out but it will keep a inattentive driver in traffic from ruining your weekend or take the brunt of backing into something inadvertently. It also allows me to anchor tie downs further back from the transom to keep the straps off the hull. This also helps keep tension on the transom from moving forward in the even some A-hole pulls out in front of me and I rear end them. Trust me when I say a bow stop alone will not keep a boat from landing in the back of your truck if you hit something. My Frame was 2x6 so we used 2x4 square tube for the extensions. This saved some weight without sacrificing much strength and also allowed more clearance when loading and unloading the boat. We fabbed up hinges and pins so that the gate rotates all the way around to the frame rail where it can be latched for launching and retrieval.

    Next was adding tie down anchors on the frame two feet back of the bow stop. Mounting this way allows the use of substantial straps to keep the boat from moving forward in an accident. The winch strap and safety chain are more than adequate from keeping the boat from coming off the bow stop.

    Lastly was drilling the frame for new marker lights as well as the gate or stop/turn lights. These were all done in LED's and available from United Trailer Parts at great prices for members.

    Once all the prep was done, the painting began. We first put a coat of primer over the entire trailer front to back. Next came color and I chose to go with black this time. After allowing ample time to dry, we began the process of putting the entire thing back together again.

    The wiring was the most time consuming since I was installing a total of 17 lights that required about 12 wiring runs through the trailer. Amazingly I got it all right on the first try and all of the lights work perfectly. During our prep we welded some bolts to the frame in strategic places for ground points. This made the installation much easier and will make future repairs quicker.

    We fabbed up some aluminum diamond plate to replace the old carpeted steps, installed new bow rollers and hardware as well as some other little odds and ends.

    What follows are the pictures from the weekend.

    A special thanks to Jason Pitts with Unlimited Trailer Parts as well as Dan Vosbrink and Bob Goodson for lending a hand with the project. I could not have done it without them. Jason can get you just about anything you could ever want for a trailer at fantastic prices. Please look him up if you need anything.


    First pic is the before shot of the trailer. Nothing real special but showing its age.
    Second pic is the boats home for the weekend.
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  2. #2
    Charter Member #9 Haulinvols's Avatar
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    Re: Haulin Vols Trailer Upgrades

    Tear down process. Not real pretty.
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    Charter Member #9 Haulinvols's Avatar
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    Re: Haulin Vols Trailer Upgrades

    Fabbing up the drive guard.
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    Charter Member #9 Haulinvols's Avatar
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    Re: Haulin Vols Trailer Upgrades

    Primer, color and the messed up brakes.
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    Charter Member #9 Haulinvols's Avatar
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    Re: Haulin Vols Trailer Upgrades

    New running lights. Very bright and easy to install.

    Ground bolts. Diamond step plates.

    Me and Dan running wire.
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    Last edited by Haulinvols; 08-02-2010 at 07:47 PM.

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    Charter Member #9 Haulinvols's Avatar
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    Re: Haulin Vols Trailer Upgrades

    Tie downs and finished project without the boat.
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    Charter Member #9 Haulinvols's Avatar
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    Re: Haulin Vols Trailer Upgrades

    And with Haulin Vols back home on its trailer.

    Group shot of the gang. Bob, Me, Jason and Dan.
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    Charter Member #7 Nightlife's Avatar
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    Re: Haulin Vols Trailer Upgrades

    Very nice!
    There are good ships, there are wood ships, there are ships that sailed the seas. But the best ships are friendships, and may they always be!

    Dave & Sheila Nye

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    Charter Member #11 IrishTornado's Avatar
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    Re: Haulin Vols Trailer Upgrades

    Very nice project, but I gotta ask do you think the straps you have are heavy enough??????

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    Re: Haulin Vols Trailer Upgrades

    Great Job Matt. Looks awesome!

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